AAFAF - Autoridad de Asesoría Financiera y Agencia Fiscal de Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico marks milestone participation in Homeowner Assistance Program

So far, PRHFA, together with project manager IEM, have disbursed more than 86% of the funds and awarded more than 90% of the total allocated funds


More than a year after the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved the Puerto Rico Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF), authorizing the use of some $75.6 million through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), more than 8,000 homeowners on the island have received assistance so they wouldn’t lose their homes during the hardships related with the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Puerto Rico HAF funds, managed by Innovative Emergency Management Inc. (IEM) under a contract awarded to the Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority (PRHFA), have been assisting people avoid mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardships before and continuing after Jan. 21, 2020.


PRHFA Auxiliary Executive Director for Single Family Projects, Ricardo Álvarez, said more than 8,000 homeowners facing financial hardships, have been assisted through the Puerto Rico Homeowner Assistance Program (PRHAP).


The program has provided a number of assistance options for eligible homeowners of up to the program cap of $21,000.


So far, PRHFA, together with project manager IEM, have disbursed more than 86% of the funds and awarded more than 90% of the total allocated funds.


Applications started to be accepted in December 2021.


“Originally, PRHAP aimed to assist at least 5,000 homeowners throughout Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities; fortunately, PRHFA was able to exceed this goal with IEM’s assistance and serve more than 8,000 homeowners,” Álvarez said, while noting that the government entity is proud of its efforts “to date.”


“There are more homeowners to assist,” he said. “Our agency is diligently working to identify new funds that would allow us to continue assisting more Puerto Rican homeowners. We met with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and other key agencies to identify additional funds to be able to continue assisting Puerto Ricans.”


Former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary and Senior Executive Advisor for IEM, Pamela Patenaude, said “the success of this program in Puerto Rico is due to the creation of program policies that mirror Treasury guidance and the onboarding of seasoned professionals.”


“With these guiding principles in place, the PRHAP team was able to establish critical partnerships with servicers and lenders to quickly and efficiently process payments to help keep Puerto Ricans in their homes,” Patenaude said.


“Puerto Rico was recognized by the National Council of State Housing Agencies as the first HAF program to fully launch. IEM takes pride in collaborating with PRHFA to ensure that the greatest number of homeowners benefit from the PRHAP funds,” she said.


PRHAP has a public dashboard on its website that allows users to interact and see the most updated statistics and program results.


Fuente: News is my Business

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